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IHA worker claims she was retaliated against for speaking out about crime at public housing

Posted: 11:21 PM, Oct 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-27 04:25:56Z

INDIANAPOLIS -- An employee of the Indianapolis Public Housing Authority is accusing the government agency of retaliation after she spoke out about safety issues at some of the housing communities.

Sandra Bailey says she received an e-mail from Human Resources one day after she joined Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Brian Roach on a public safety walk at the Laurelwood apartments and raised questions about crime at public housing properties. 

Bailey, who works for the Indianapolis Housing Agency, is also the president of the resident council which encourages tenants to be engaged in public housing sites and says she was vocal about crime issues in the area during that meeting.

“I want Mayor Hogsett to really look at what’s going on at the Indianapolis Housing Agency,” said Bailey. “Look at the residents, because they open their mouth and tell you how they feel and this is what you get. It’s so unfair.”

Bailey was told that she violated the IHA confidentiality policy with the Indianapolis office of Housing and Urban Development because she sent an email earlier this month to HUD about a resident that she says was threatening her and other tenants.

She was suspended for three days without pay.

The federal agency, HUD, oversees IHA and IHA reports directly to HUD.

Bailey says she will continue to do what is right and speak up for the safety of others and she will not be silenced.

“It’s so unfair, who knows what will be next,” said Bailey. “I’m not afraid about that either, none of that.

IHA issued the following response to Call 6 Friday evening:

“The Indianapolis Housing Agency is legally bound to hold personnel matters involving our employees to the strictest levels of confidentiality. Bearing this in mind we are unable to respond to your request at this time.”

Mayor Hogsett’s office also issued a statement to call 6 on Friday:

“Indianapolis Housing Agency provides affordable housing to thousands of residents, ensuring that critical needs are met for some of our city’s most vulnerable populations. In light of the recent retirement of Executive Director Myers, the mayor’s office has been working with the IHA Board of Commissioners to identify a new executive director to oversee the organization.

I would refer you to IHA for further information regarding their HR decisions, as the mayor’s office doesn’t oversee day to day operations for the organization.”

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